Should You Have a Portfolio?
This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.
“Just another couple of snowflakes in the big art establishment blizzard.” — Hugh MacLeod
I don’t have a portfolio. I don’t want one. It serves no purpose I can justify.
I realize why people want it. It’s so easy to create an online portfolio today, it’s become the gold standard for judging a photographer’s worth. Everybody can have one, so everybody should.
But what are you trying to accomplish by assembling a portfolio, online or offline?
Is it attention? If so, that’s probably the worst strategy. If you have great stories to tell, there are far better venues for getting attention than a portfolio.
Is it credibility? That’s always a losing battle. The closer you get to your goal, the less you innovate. Trends become your friends.
Is it clients? You’re trying to be a pro, which is fine, but then we’re talking about commerce, not necessarily art. There’s a different set of rules to apply.
Critics will gladly pick apart your portfolio to compensate for their lack of judgment. I don’t see a reason to play by their rules.